Honda Idle, Hunts for a Home
Dear Auto Advisor,
My wife has a 2002 V6 Honda Accord, the idle is not smooth and slow, it goes up and down, when I put the car in gear, it goes down the highway at 35 mph. This problem all started when I installed a new timing belt and water pump on my car. I have checked the timing marks on the timing belt 3 times and I know they are right on the money. Do you have any ideas on how to troubleshoot this idle problem on my Honda?
Worried husband in the doghouse, in Wewa.
In most cases on a Honda the culprit is the “Idle Air Control Motor”. To verify if this may be the problem you will need a small hammer and phillips head screwdriver. Remove the air snorkel that goes to the air filter box first. Start the car and see if you can “kill’ the engine by “shutting off” the flow of air by putting your hand over the throttle body. If the engine dies, we know you did not create a vacuum leak on the engine causing this problem. Next restart the engine and when the car starts to idle up and down, “gently” tap the metal part of the “Idle Air Control Motor” which is directly under the throttle body with your SMALL hammer. If the idle speed starts to drop every time you “tap” on it, then your idle control motor is faulty. When you tap on the idle air control motor the brushes on the electric motor are able to make contact with the armature and slow the engine down to a normal idle speed. I checked on NAPAFIX one of my many sources for internet information and this seems to be a common “intermittent” problem on V/6 Honda’s. In most cases it will set a check engine light and cause the car to have a high speed drivability problem as well. Symptoms include random misfire and hard starting along with the dreaded check engine light on your dash.
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